• Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration
    2 years

Program Highlights: 

  • Complete your degree in 24 months 
  • Learn to provide superior health care to correctional populations  
  • One of the first programs in the nation designed to prepare students to enter a correctional health care setting as a health care administrator 
  • No prior correctional experience required if you have three or more years of experience in another health care field 

MSHS in Correctional Health Administration 

Join one of the first programs of its kind in the nation and learn to serve the unique health needs of incarcerated populations with the George Washington University's (GW) online Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Correctional Health Administration. Learn to oversee staffing, manage budgets, and lead a health care unit inside of a correctional institution. When you graduate with the MSHS in Correctional Health Administration, you'll be able to: 

  • Design a health care services plan for incarcerated patient populations that meets diverse needs and is constitutional, evidenced-based, and fiscally prudent 
  • Develop value-based strategies to mitigate risks and improve clinical outcomes 
  • Lead a correctional health care team and engage internal and external stakeholders 
  • Establish scope of services, meet staffing needs, manage a budget, and oversee public relations needs 

Who Is the Ideal Student for This Program? 
While prior correctional experience is ideal, it is not required to excel in this two-year program, which requires only three years of experience in another health care field. To succeed, you should be motivated, comfortable with a self-directed study, and passionate about leading teams and providing high-quality health care. 

All courses are delivered online in a flexible, asynchronous format, so you can earn your graduate degree while keeping up with your personal and professional commitments. 

Correctional Health Administration Career Outlook 
In late 2017, health care surpassed both manufacturing and retail as the largest employer in the United States, due in part to its ability to resist economic downturns.1 Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, more than double the average rate of growth for all other occupations.2 

With your master's in Correctional Health Administration, you'll be prepared to take on several leadership roles in correctional health: 

  • Health Care Administrator, average salary $64,4223 
  • Health Services Administrator, average salary $70,347
  • Director, Nursing, average salary $83,652
  • Director of Health Services, average salary $76,851

1. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/01/health-care-america-jobs/550079/?utm_source=atltw 

2. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm 

3. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Healthcare_Administrator/Salary 

4. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Health_Services_Administrator/Salary 

5. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Director%2c_Nursing/Salary

6. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Director_of_Health_Services/Salary

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. Bachelor's Degree
  2. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  3. Previous Work Experience Many of our students have a background in correctional health, but it is not required if you have 3 years or more working in a health care field.
  4. Written Personal Statement Please include a 250–500-word essay describing your reasons for undertaking study at the George Washington University, your academic objectives, career goals, and related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, relevant to your program of interest. Include any substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.
  5. Completed Application
  6. Resume/CV
  7. Application Fee A non-refundable application fee of $80 is required. The application fee is waived for active-duty U.S. military, current GW students, degree-holding GW alumni, and current McNair Program Scholars.
  8. 2 Letters of Recommendation
  9. Official transcripts from every college and university attended. All non-U.S. transcripts (including those in English) must be evaluated by an accredited foreign credential agency. Please find the list of member organizations here: https://www.naces.org/members
  10. Criminal background check and drug screen
  11. International Students Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are also required to submit official test scores for Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Pearson's Test of English (PTE) Academics or the academic International English Language Test System (IELTS). These are the minimum scores for admission consideration: • TOEFL: 250 computer-based or 100 Internet-based. GW's school code for the TOEFL is 5246 • PTE: Overall score of 68 IELTS: overall band score of 7.0, with no individual band score below 6.0 You may be considered for admission without these test scores if you: • Are a citizen of a country where English is the official language • Hold a bachelor's degree from a country where English is the official language and language of instruction • Hold a bachelor's degree from an institution accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency
  12. NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.


The online MSHS in Correctional Health Administration program consists of 36 credit hours and can be completed in as few as two years. Students complete 33 credit hours of Graduate Research Courses and 3 credit hours of Elective Courses.

  • CHA 6020Fundamentals of Correctional Health Care

    This course will provide an overview of the U.S. criminal justice system; an analysis of the legal framework that underpins correctional health care; an exploration of the essential elements that define the correctional standard of care; and an evaluation of ethical dilemmas frequently encountered by the correctional health care administrator. Prerequisites: None

  • CHA 6275Correctional Health Care Administration Practicum

    This course will include fieldwork in a U.S. jail or prison with a CHA mentor. Students will actively participate in correctional health care responsibilities. Prerequisites: CHA 6020, CHA 6050, CHA 5020, CHA 5023, and CHA 6025

  • CML 6021Correctional Health Care for Special Populations3 Credits

    This course will address health care policy and programmatic requirements for managing incarcerated populations with special health needs. These patient populations include women, juveniles, detainees, sexual minorities, the elderly, disabled persons, and persons with serious mental illness and chronic addiction. Prerequisite: CHA 6020

  • CML 6023Correctional Health Care Fiscal Management3 Credits

    This course will cover the essential fiscal management responsibilities of the correctional health care administrator, including cost-efficient health care staffing; budgeting and inventory management; contract development and oversight; cost containment strategies; and the effective use of financial metrics. Prerequisite: CHA 6020

  • CML 6025Correctional Health Administration for Behavioral Health Populations

    This course will address the correctional health administration of incarcerated populations with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Students will learn classification, health care delivery, risk management, and accreditation requirements for managing these medically complicated patients. Prerequisites: CHA 6020, CHA 5020 (recommended)

  • CML 6050Correctional Health Care Delivery

    This course will cover the key operational responsibilities of the correctional health care administer which include: Policy development; staffing and managing a multidisciplinary health care team; ensuring access to efficiently run sick call and chronic care clinic services; and providing necessary oral health care and ancillary services. Prerequisite: CHA 6020

  • CML 6202Human Resources Development

    Methods, techniques and policies appropriate for the development and management of human resources complementary to an organization's vision, strategy, and desired culture. Managerial knowledge, skills, and behaviors required for the effective management of people to promote and maintain a professional health care organization are explored. Prerequisites: None

  • HSCI 6223Topics in Health Care Leadership

    Theories and styles of leadership, including organizational management and values, strategic planning, communication strategies, managing change, and negotiating conflict in the context of the health care delivery system. Prerequisites: None

  • INFR 6101 Principles of Medical Informatics

    Analysis of medical informatics applications and innovations in health care and the health care system; implications for health care delivery and patient outcomes, including electronic medical records, health system databases, and medical data analysis. Prerequisites: None

  • CHA 6203Quality Improvement Science in Health Care

    Provides an introduction to quality improvement and patient safety theories, models, methods, and tools, and their application to quality and safety improvement challenges in health care. Prerequisites: None

  • CHA 6210Strategic Communications

    The course focuses on effective communication in the health care environment and helps students critically evaluate their own personal communication styles. Prerequisites: None Other electives considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the program director and advisor.

Tuition & Fees

  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $1,040
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $3,120

What's it like to earn this degree online?

  • Study on your schedule
    The flexible anytime, anywhere approach to online learning at GW means that you can study and work on assignments when and where it’s convenient for you. Balance your personal and professional commitments. At GW online, you can advance your career without stopping it.
  • Personalized learning
    Many of our online programs have a student-instructor ratio that’s lower than on-campus classes, making it easier to interact with fellow students and get personalized attention from your instructors. Plus, you have access to one-on-one tutoring to help ensure your success.
  • The prestige of a GW degree
    Now you can earn a GW degree without relocating your life, giving you access to the distinguished connections and opportunities we provide. When you earn a degree from an online program at GW, you earn a degree from the George Washington University. Entrusted with its rights, privileges, and honors, you’ll join the ever-expanding GW alumni community who make the world a better place.
  • Connect to campus from anywhere
    GW is your link to leading authorities in policy and health care in Washington, D.C. You’ll be able to research, collaborate, and discuss with classmates and instructors using online learning management systems. Engage with all the resources GW offers, including tutors, the writing center, career services, and libraries—all online.
  • A dedicated advisor from day one
    Each GW online student is assigned an academic advisor who will support your journey to graduation. You’ll get help finding resources, guidance on scheduling classes, answers to your questions, and more. As an online learner at GW, you’re never alone.
  • Round-the-clock tech support
    A late-night software malfunction won’t keep you from getting your assignment in on time. GW provides 24/7 technical support for our online students, ensuring you have complete access to what you need, when you need it.

Want to learn more?